Spanish

The importance of Spanish

With over 500 million Spanish speaking peoples in the emerging Central and South American markets, Spanish is the official language in more than twenty countries. It is predicted that by 2050 the USA will be a bi-lingual country.

Spanish is also an important language in Europe, where it is an official language of the EU. Overall, in the business world it is second in importance after English.

This History of the Spanish Language

Curriculum

Pupils are given the opportunity to start this successful and very highly regarded versatile language in Year 8 for three periods a week and they continue into Year 9. They can then select to study Spanish for iGCSE in Years 10 and 11 and can choose it for A level in Sixth Form.

More than a third of the year group opt to take Spanish as their GCSE language when students have four teaching periods per week. From September 2013 we started teached the Edexcel iGCSE.

Aim of the department

The aim of the Spanish Department is to ensure that every pupil benefits from a broad spectrum of Spanish culture, supporting their development and greater understanding of Spain's place in European history and legacy in the "New World". After Spain's conquest of the new world, Spanish began to take hold in America, and the language today reflects the contribution made by Latin Americans as well as Spaniards.

Trips and enrichment

  • In Year 9, pupils were offered last year the opportunity to participate in a  six day cultural trip to Catalunya. Highlights included visits to the Nou Camp Football Stadium, the Picasso Museum, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Greco-Roman site of Empuries Brava (arrival of the Olympic flame), together with the beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava.

  • The Spanish department regularly organises language study visits in Year 10 to important cultural destinations including Barcelona, Madrid and Salamanca and Jerez. Pupils receive intensive language tuition (conversation and grammar revision) in order to hone their skills in preparation to taking public examinations. We have a new initiative in Year 11 where we will be offering a weekend-long cultural trip to a Spanish city - this year our choice is Seville. The trip will be happening in 2015.

  • Cultural visits to Mexico and Cuba have brought students a rich and varied insight into the political, economic and social dimensions of these very diverse but equally dynamic Spanish speaking countries. Cultural visits to the Americas bring the language alive and make its learning that more tangible!

  • Pupils are also regularly entered for quizzes and competitions promoted by the Spanish Embassy. In recent years we have had great success in the Ruta Quetzal competition.

  • We also established a reciprocal exchange programme with a school in Posadas (Cordoba), however, due to the economic recession in Spain, this opportunity is currently unavailable. We hope to reinstate this in due course.

  • Additionally, we run excursions to see productions at Sadler's Wells (Flamenco show, Ballet Revolucion - a cuban modern ballet show), Havana Rakatan (cuban floor show) etc. and we attend cinema worshops at the BFI every June to study the work of the Spanish film director - Pedro Almodovar.

The Spanish department is proud of its achievements to date and is committed to keeping the learning of Spanish vivid and real. To this end future projects to South America including Costa Rica and possibly Argentina are currently being explored with cultural visits planned for the near future.

Co-Curricular Activities

  • Senior Film Club (taller de cine)

  • Year 9 Spanish Cinema Club

  • La Clinica - A little extra help for those who find the spanish grammar a little tricky!

STAFF

Spanish is taught by:

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